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[kuh n-tin-yoo-uh m] /kənˈtɪn yu əm/
noun, plural continua
[kuh n-tin-yoo-uh] /kənˈtɪn yu ə/ (Show IPA)
a continuous extent, series, or whole.
  1. a set of elements such that between any two of them there is a third element.
  2. the set of all real numbers.
  3. any compact, connected set containing at least two elements.
Origin of continuum
1640-50; < Latin, noun use of neuter of continuus continuous Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for continuum
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It replaces the world of the continuum by a world of discrete states.

  • All intervening nature is the continuum of two good and wise men.

    Anima Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • How, moreover, can Magnitude, and a continuum arise out of that which has no Magnitude?

    Aristotle George Grote
  • Number cannot, either as Movent or as Form, produce a continuum (b. 30).

    Aristotle George Grote
  • The world line of a ray of light is a geodesic in the continuum.

British Dictionary definitions for continuum


noun (pl) -tinua (-ˈtɪnjʊə), -tinuums
a continuous series or whole, no part of which is perceptibly different from the adjacent parts
Word Origin
C17: from Latin, neuter of continuuscontinuous
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for continuum

1640s, from Latin continuum "a continuous thing," neuter of continuus (see continue). The plural is continua.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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